World Meteorological Organization


Flag of the World Meteorological OrganizationThe World Meteorological Organization is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 182 Member States and 6 Territories. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), which was founded in 1873. Established in 1950, WMO became the specialized agency of the United Nations in 1951 for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences (photo: H.N. Warren signs the convention on behalf of Australia). 


As weather, climate and water cycle knows no national boundaries, international cooperation at a global scale is essential for the development of meteorology and operational hydrology as well as to reap the benefits from their applications. WMO provides the framework for such international cooperation.


Since its establishment, WMO has played a unique and powerful role in contributing to the safety and welfare of humanity. Under WMO leadership and within the framework of WMO programmes, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services contribute substantially to the protection of life and property against natural disasters, to safeguarding the environment and to enhancing the economic and social well-being of all sectors of society in areas such as food security, water resources and transport.


H.N. Warren signs the convention on behalf of AustraliaWMO facilitates the free and unrestricted exchange of data and information, products and services in real- or near-real time on matters relating to safety and security of society, economic welfare and the protection of the environment. It contributes to policy formulation in these areas at national and international levels.


WMO plays a leading role in international efforts to monitor and protect the environment through its Programmes.  For instance, in collaboration with UN agencies and the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of its Members, WMO supports the implementation of relevant conventions such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the International Convention to Combat Desertification, and the Vienna Convention on the Protection of Ozone Layer and its Protocols and Amendments. WMO is instrumental in providing advice and assessments to governments on matters relating to the above Conventions. These activities contribute towards ensuring the sustainable development and well-being of nations.


WMO Headquarters, GenevaIn the specific case of weather-, climate and water-related hazards which account for nearly 90% of all natural disasters, WMO’s programmes provide vital information for the advance warnings that save lives and reduce damage to property and the environment. WMO also contributes to reducing the impacts of human-induced disasters, such as those associated with chemical and nuclear accidents, forest fire and volcanic ash. Studies have shown that, apart from the incalculable benefit to human well-being, every dollar invested in meteorological and hydrological services produces an economic return many times greater, often ten times or more.


In addition to its Headquarters in Geneva, the Secretariat includes Regional Office for Africa (Burundi), Regional Office for Asia and the South-West Pacific (Switzerland) and Regional Office for Americas (Paraguay); and Subregional Offices are West Africa (Nigeria), Eastern and Southern Africa (Kenya), South-West Pacific (Samoa) and for North and Central America and the Caribbean (Costa Rica), Asia (Bahrain) and Europe (Switzerland).


On two occasions the jubilee of the organization was celebrated. In 1973 the centenary was commemorated followed by the 50th anniversary as an organization of the United Nations in 2000.





The official website of WMO.

Article on WMO in Wikipedia.

Flag of WMO in Flags of the World.



Related subjects


WMO Centenary (1973)

WMO 50th anniversary (2000)


World Meteorological Day

World Weather Watch


International Polar Year



Related person


Berger, André



Stamp catalogue - general issues


Belgium                      17 April 1958



Stamp catalogue - 50th anniversary


Bangladesh                  23 March 2000









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last revised: 9 July 2009